Published on October 3rd, 2012
The tight kinship that is created though sailing is well documented. Another example of this affinity took place in Davenport (Iowa) at the 51st Polar Bear Regatta; an occasion which celebrated the life of Don Wagner – memorializing the event in his name.
Don’s contributions to the National C-Scow Sailing Association, Lake Davenport Sailing and to his friends throughout the C Scow community will be missed but always remembered.
Twenty-three teams competed, representing six different clubs from five different states. This wide attraction proves once again that the Polar Bear is more than just a local regatta – it is a signature annual event for the C Scow class. The Lake Davenport Sailing Club truly makes every sailor feel welcome and at home.
After Saturday’s races, it was time to pay homage to a couple of great Polar Bear traditions as the sun set Saturday evening. Following the signature pork chop dinner, the raffling off of some truly great swag was conducted by Dinah Wagner and aided by Courtney Benedict along with the ever present Fry Daddy’s two man band. And as her late husband Don had done for many years, Dinah kept up with tradition and gave the shirt off of her back to one lucky ticket holder.
In the final race on Sunday, Joe Schaub showed why he has a plethora of Polar Bear Championships, finishing the regatta as he started, winning the last race by a wide margin. Schaub attributed his overall victory in part to the “mojo” found in the borrowed sail of Don Wagner. The sight of the D-31 sail pulling a horizon job victory on the last race at this regatta was profoundly appropriate.